I was going to write about the band, Dome, because Editions Mego have released their complete works in a big black box, but then I thought otherwise. I thought ‘I didn’t listen to Dome back in 1980 and don’t have much to say about them today’.
I was going to call the post ‘Welcome To The Pleasure (Of) Dome’, but decided not to, mainly because they’re only partly pleasurable, and those parts are not large enough to justify a title like that. The best parts are when they stop ‘singing’ and work with tape-drone-synth alone.
Still, it would make a nice Xmas present for someone. Not a Will Young fan. Not that you would know a Will Young fan, of course, being a person of great taste who applies the same criterion to friends as you do to culture. The urban myth says you’re never more than six feet away from a rat in London, and judging by Will’s sales figures I think the same must apply to one of his fans.
You may know a Will Young fan, of course. We can’t really filter out friends with naff taste because they may prove useful in other areas such as knowing how to fix your computer, or fix your head by offering a sympathetic ear and good advice when your head’s in a bad place. I know that now, whereas when I stopped talking to friends with naff taste years ago, I didn’t. I now have no friends.
When Dome were finishing their first album, The Jam were No.1 with ‘Going Underground’. I was waiting, in limbo land after Punk and, I might add, after Funk too. Even Parliament were about to become extinct with the release of their last album, ‘Trombipulation’.
For a while, in the late-70s, I was enjoying the Punky-Funky-Reggae party held by the likes of Parliament, The Clash and Culture. But by 1980 all that was on the wane. I was waiting for Jazz, as it turned out, which appeared on my radar (cue chorus of ‘Ha-lleluiahs’) with for formation of Rip Rig & Panic and the emergence of a scene that celebrated them and the source of their name. Things weren’t all bad in 1980, though. Blondie, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and The Specials were all having pop-tastic hits.
I was going underground, literally, a couple of years later, in a Leicester Square basement club called ‘The Hot Sty’ run by members of Rip Rig & Panic. It was painfully hip, as you can imagine, although their record choices were not all obscure. They played Michael Jackson and Duke Ellington, for instance. Well, one of those is massively popular. The other is massively popular amongst a minority, the size of which I cannot calculate. How many people in the world like Jazz?
I was in a clothes shop yesterday in St Albans and they were playing Dave Brubeck. It made me feel so good that I almost bought some trousers. I complimented an assistant on his taste. He was easily in his 60s and dressed in a smart, Cool, casual fashion. He told me Brubeck was in fashion now because he was being used on an advert. LJ asked if he’d seen the film, ‘All Night Long’, in which Dave turns up at Dickie Attenborough’s party. He recalled it after a minute, joking that I we didn’t look that old. I struggled to think of a way to tell him about YouTube and DVDs, but thought better of it. Then he asked me if I was a Jazz fan, or just a fan of Brubeck, which is quite a strange question when you think about it. Afterwards I realised that he considered the idea that I might only know Brubeck because of his apparent trendiness. How you can like Brubeck but not many other Jazz legends is a mystery to me, but hey, life full of mysteries, isn’t it?